Tag Archives: Bangkok

Holidays! And Indian Food!

Holidays start later today! I’m at work with my very heavy suitcase and I’m charging up the pod readying myself for departure. SO excited about this trip! I woke up at 5.30am I was so excited!

Last night, instead of working until a-million-o’clock or devoting unnecessary amounts of time to packing, the lovely Khun Rae invited me and some colleagues over for REAL INDIAN FOOD! This invitation came about because intern Sara and I eat Indian food at the canteen most days. One day at lunch we were speculating about where to get the best Indian food in Bangkok so we asked Khun Rae, who is about 15 generations Thai-Indian. Her answer: “My house!” So we set a date for dinner.

Khun Rae lives far away from the office. The other day it took her FOUR HOURS to get to work! But last night, with Nut’s car and the traffic on our side we were there in 45 mins! Bangkok, you make no sense sometimes.

Khun Rae knew what we were all about, so there was food on the table almost as soon as we arrived.

Sara, Khun Rae, Ajit, Jay, Nut

Close up please…

entree

samosa

Augggghhhhhhhhhhhhh, the appetizers were so damn tasty. I forget what the first dish was called but I think it’s my favourite food in the world. Seriously! The second dish, Samosas. Home made. You’re jealous.

dinner!

And this is what my plate looked like a short time later! Hellooooo deliciousness. Yes, I ate too much, and yes my table manners could have been better – but the other guests were similarly afflicted with food lust so it was OK. Best moment of the night: Nut sees a delicious dish and starts loading up his plate: “Ohhhhhhhh I LOVE this!! I LOVE Indian food!”. Khun Rae: “Nut, it’s a Thai curry”.

Khun Rae's sun

The star of the evening was Khun Rae’s son, Ankit. This photo makes him look like a sweet and charming little boy. That’s part of his sneaky  game plan. We know the truth…

torturing nut

Nut being tortured by Ankit. He only beat up on boys. He respectfully screamed at the girls. Cutest moment was when Khun Rae said something to Ankit in Hindi and he went from running around manic circles to dead quiet. “What did you say Rae?” “I told him that if he doesn’t behave I won’t invite people from the office ever again” Awww, he loved us!

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TCDC – New favourite place in Bangkok

I’ve spent my Sunday in the cosy and lovely Thailand Centre for Design and Creativity (TCDC). Sam was the clever cookie who discovered this place and let me join his study session – which I’ve successfully chattered through most of.

Sam working hard - lovely gothic impression of Bangkok through the window behind

Sam working hard - gothic impression of Bangkok through the window behind (which you can't quite see in this tiny photo)

TCDC has resource centre with a design library and screening rooms. A yearly membership gives you access to  entire collection.

TCDC Library

TCDC Library

But for me and Sam the cafe called Kiosk provided a nifty membership-free study space with food and free internet! – I can post to Where Is Sarah? to my heart’s content all weekend! Like I’m doing right now!

Kiosk at TCDC

Kiosk at TCDC

Did I mention the movies?

Kiosk movie screen

Kiosk movie screen

Movies are screened all day long in the Kiosk (with the sound turned down so you can ignore it if you like). Ratatouille is playing in this photo. Note that feet on seats and beanbags are all acceptable at TCDC.

If I wasn’t planning on being in Australia for the next two weekends (!!) I would definitely be back here next Sunday. I’ll be TCDC-ing as much as possible before Bangkok days are over.

Rainy day photos

The rainy season started on Saturday night. This was not a gradual seasonal shift: one day it was dry, the next it was wet. It rained for most of the day on Sunday, which was perfect for reading and movies and naps but when it stopped I took the chance to get some “fresh” air and go for a walk. I took my camera and new tripod with me and took these rainy day photos in my neighbourhood.

level 2

view from apartment building

broken sign

frog

laneway

mum and girl on bike

peek through fence

Soi 5

Soi Ari Samphan

A free long weekend

This weekend I was caught unprepared for a long weekend. So Thursday night rolled around and I found myself staring down the barrel of three completely free days. (are you as confused as I am by that weird mixed metaphor?)

This was both exciting and terrifying, because I was in danger of wasting away three days and then I’d get an “oh my god, my life is soooo boring” attack sometime around 10pm on Saturday night. So I approached the weekend methodically, and then most of my method was thrown out the window and friends called to make plans to do fun stuff. So here’s how the weekend turned out.

Friday
Woke up around 7am (weird!! but I did crash out super early the night before). I immediately got to work on Sarah’s Bangkok Reading Challenge, reading a few chapters of Good Wives.

I went out for milk at some point and was reminded by my security guard that it was a public holiday and I was stupid for being awake so early. So true!!

I had muesli for breakfast, which was so delicious – one of those “man, I want to eat cereal for every meal for the rest of my life” meals, while listening to my all time favourite podcast, This American Life.

this american life

Then I listened to a podcast I just discovered called The Moth Podcast, which features true stories told live without notes. I am totally hooked. I listened to that while I cleaned my apartment from top to bottom. I even cleaned the green slime that has started growing on  my balcony since the hot season started. This slime is super-slime and can grown in minutes! It’s a pretty green colour so I’m not bothered by it, but I suppose it can’t stay there forever.

Then it was time to head to Little India with Nikki. We are into bus adventures at the moment, so we took the no.8 bus somewhere, but neither of us were entirely clear where we were. We were adventuring to find fabric for Nikki’s craft project. I was going along for moral support. We found a great textiles market which wasn’t actually Little India, and then after some serious strolling in 43 degree heat we found Little India in all its gaudy glory.

Cakes in Little India

Cakes in Little India

Somewhere along the way we got the excellent idea to have massages, so Nikki got on the phone to her sister to get names and numbers of good massage places, and instead her sister told her we could have free foot massages at the spa right near our house! So we dropped in at Nana Spa (Ari Soi 1) and got deluxe foot massages with scrubs and lotions and the best bit – cheesy Thai magazines, with a Thai person willing to explain it! “Nikki, is this a member of the royal family?” “Nikki, is this celebrity a boy or a girl?” etc, etc.

The rest of the evening involved eating, chatting on the phone to Ro and even…wait for it…yoga.

Day one of Free Long Weekend = A+

Saturday

I woke up at 9.30am on Saturday! Oh my god, it was the best sleep I’ve had, maybe ever! I ate muesli again, and read some more, but this morning I had much less time on my hands. I had to pretty myself up because Nikki and I were going…

Hi-so shopping!

Hi-so is slang for high society, and is basically used in the same way Australians would use “posh” or “fancy pants”. Conversations go like this: “I went to Longtable the other day” “Ooooh, hi-sooooooo”

While Nikki and I sweated it out in Little India the day before, it occured to us that going to Bangkok’s fanciest shopping malls would be a good follow up. So we headed off to Erawan Bangkok and Gaysorn.

Gaysorn

Gaysorn

We didn’t buy much, in fact I only bought a newspaper and Nikki bought some cosmetics, but you don’t go to these places to actually shop – otherwise you’d be very, very poor afterwards. I am now totally on board with the Asian passtime of hanging out in shopping malls. It was cool, there was food whenever you wanted it, and plenty of things to look at. And Nikki pointed out that we’d saved money on our electricty bills because we weren’t at home with the AC blasting.

Around 5pm we headed home, I had a quick shower and nap before heading out to meet Mike. You remember Mike:

Mike gets Songkraned

Mike gets Songkraned

He was passing through BKK on my birthday, and came back again this weekend. Mike has been hanging out in Laos with his girlfriend who is doing research there, but they’ve just moved to Cambodia and in the next few weeks Mike will head off to the Philippines to do some research of his own. Yes, people have very cool lives.

I took Mike to Jazz and Zeke’s place. You remember Jazz and Zeke:

Jazz and Zeke

Jazz and Zeke

We were going to go out to see bands playing by the river and stopped in for a few drinks first….and then the rain started. In Bangkok if it rains it pours (and thunders and lightings), so we were housebound until about midnight. By then the impending curfew and the rain seemed to have shut the city down so we went to 24 dim sum and snacked on dumplings until late.

Day two of Free Long Weekend = A+!!

Sunday

Woke up at 9.30am again!! No hangover! Sunday was designated rest day, so I started out by reading a few more chapters of Good Wives and then moved onto breakfast with the newspaper. There was some more reading and napping and a trip to Wawee Coffee. Then, just to get things moving, I watched a movie! Vicki Christina Barcelona – which was totally primo by the way!!

It rained for most of the day, so when it subsided I went out and took some photos in the street. I’ll post them another day. Sushi for dinner and then back home.

Day three of Free Long Weekend = A+ again!!

So, with a bit of method and lots of luck I had a totally A+ long weekend! There was adventure, massage, dumplings and a lot of sleep, and the best bit – it lasted for three days. My perfect weekend!

Sarah’s Bangkok Reading Challenge

good-wivesI was whining on the phone to MJ last night that I’m finding it hard to entertain myself at the moment. It was essentially a repeat of our most common conversation that we’ve been having since I was little. It begins with,  “Muuu-uuum, I’m booooored”.

In between working long hours and sleeping, I’ve just hit a point where daily life seems a bit too dull. In fact, I embody the phrase “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.” I’m not looking for major life upheaval – I already have that in spades, I mean I just want to do something a bit fun at the end of the day to take my mind off work.

I usually keep busy with side projects and internet stuff, but they seem like more of a chore than a hobby lately, and I’ve finished watching the West Wing and 30 Rock. So MJ and I brainstormed a bit, coming up with a few suggestions, but the best one was to read books. This is no.1 on my list of favourite hobbies, and it’s the best way I know to wind down…but I’ve been struggling to get into any of the books on my shelf lately, and have about four books on my side table with bookmarks languishing at page 20. I went to the bookstore on Wednesday (hair colour day) to buy something new that could break the reading funk, but I talked myself out of it because every new book is another book that needs to be shipped home.

But on the bus ride home last night I had a breakthrough! I realised the perfect way to get myself to sit down, push past the first 20 pages of a book and enjoy reading again! (and lighten the load of books that I’ll bring home with me – Once I’ve read my books I can pass them on to friends).

I’ve decided to set myself the challenge of reading every book on my shelf before I leave Bangkok. I have quite a few books, and one of them is the 600 page journal of Joyce Carol Oates, so it’s more of an experiment to see how far I get than a challenge I expect to win, but I’m excited nonetheless!

Last night I started Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott, which I think will get my reading muscles moving again. I thoroughly enjoyed the first few chapters and am looking forward to getting back into it tonight. See, Sarah’s Bangkok Reading Challenge is already working!